Fashion Designer for Wheelchair Users
For Izzy Camilleri, the journey to becoming a top fashion designer for people with disabilities began after befriending Barbara Turnbull, also of Toronto, Canada, who was a wheelchair-using quadriplegic.
"When I met Barb ten years ago, she had been injured twenty years," said 49-year-old Camilleri in a telephone interview. "By then, I had made a strong name for myself in the Canadian fashion industry. Barb asked the fashion editor of a newspaper who the editor would recommend to make a cape for her. Today, Barb is a reporter with the Toronto Star. "
Camilleri had never designed clothing for a wheelchair user or quadriplegic, and did not realize their clothing needed special alterations and features.
She said, "(Meeting Barb) was an eye-opening experience that went beyond clothing. When we met, I noticed she was static in her chair and could only move her neck and head. After our meeting, I had all these questions in my head. How did she shower? How did she put food in her mouth? How did she use the bathroom? The more I thought about her experience, the more humbling it was for me."
Camilleri went on to design and make more clothing for Turnbull before beginning to realize a "big void" existed in the marketplace for fashionable and comfortable clothing for wheelchair-using professionals and younger people. She researched what was available and learned nearly all clothing made for people with disabilities was for elderly people. She also learned 84 percent of Canadians with spinal cord injury were between ages 18 and 34.
She began IZ Adaptive in 2009, and today through an online store has male and female clients in Australia, the UK, and Europe, besides North America. The company has a nearly 100-item custom product line, including pants, shirts, jackets, coats, skirts, sweaters, and dresses.
She said, "Normally, people in a wheelchair have a hard time wearing a coat or anything below the waist. For instance, when you sit in a chair, a zipper jacket will buckle and get shorter. And with a coat, if you can't stand up to put it on, you will get this big puddle of fabric around your waist. With our coats and pants, we accommodate a seated frame. You can put them on while sitting and still have the length, but there is no bulk."
Currently, the Royal Ontario Museum has an IZ Adaptive clothing exhibit.
Print This Article
Placer County News HeadlinesWriting Your Life Story Workshop September 13thBud Gardner, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul, part of the New York Times best-selling series, will conduct a workshop, How to Write Your Life Story, on Saturday, Sept. 13th
Jessup Gala to Celebrate 75th Anniversary on September 20thROCKLIN, Calif., - William Jessup University will host the Jessup Gala on Saturday, September 20 from 6-9 p.m. The dinner and program festivities raise funds for student scholarships.
Brandman University Adding Roseville LocationRoseville,CA -- Brandman University will be locating at 400 Sunrise Blvd. The 9,182 square foot tenant improvement is valued at over $300,000.
Roseville California Crime Brief (8.31.14)Roseville, CA - Roseville California crime brief update report for August 31, 2014.
Acura ILX: Luxury Vehicle, Reasonable PriceFor car shoppers looking for an upscale luxury sedan that doesn't arrive with a luxurious price tag, Acura debuted the ILX a year ago and its back for 2014 virtually unchanged
People with Autism Especially VulnerablePerhaps like you, recently I read of an incident in Okeechobee, Florida, in which an 18-year-old man was recorded on video beating, choking, kicking, and holding a knife to the throat of a 16-year-old boy with autism.
54 Year Old Roseville Woman Killed with Own VehicleRoseville- 54-year-old Bernadette Ann Richardson was killed when her SUV rolled backwards as she was retrieving a bicycle from her 1997 Ford Explorer.
Photos: Napa Earthquake DamageWe recently had the opportunity to tour Napa following the magnitude 6.0 earthquake. The downtown area of Napa which contains many older buildings was hit especially hard.
California Senate Passes New Gun Violence BillCalifornia's state today passed the "Gun Violence Restraining Order (AB 1014)," legislation that would allow family members or law enforcement to petition a court
Laura's Law Implementation in Placer CountyPlacer County became the sixth county in California Tuesday to implement Laura's Law - a state statute that authorizes court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment of residents with severe
$22 Million Animal Services Center in Auburn Moves ForwardThe Placer County Board of Supervisors awarded a design-build contract on Tuesday that paves the way for construction of a long-planned Animal Services Center in North Auburn that
Autism in Girls Study Launched in CaliforniaAutism is far more common in boys than girls - affecting 1 in 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls - but little is known about biological differences between boys and girls with autism.